Lectio Divina: 2021-04-16

Our Lectio Divina for this Friday focussed on the Gospel for the 3rd Sunday of Easter Year B.

Lk 24:35-48 So you see how it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead.

One

Peace be with you.

The resurrection of Jesus breaks down all barriers. Jesus removes divisions within us, between us and others and between us and his Father. Jesus brings us inner peace which is beyond our understanding.

The first disciples were called to reconcile people and bring them back to having a loving relationship with God, his Father. Jesus asks us today to be his disciples on earth bringing his peace to all the people we meet in our daily lives.

Jesus calls us today to do four things each day in his name;

To hear His word
To accept His word
To follow His word
To spread His word

And we will find that deep inner peace, which is beyond our understanding.

Two

‘He opened their minds to understand the scriptures.’ What a gift he gave them. I have read the scriptures since I was young and they are in many ways still a mystery to me.

Sometimes I get a fresh insight when I read a popular section like the beatitudes. However, I can struggle with parts of the Old Testament. I prefer the forgiving, compassionate God of the New Testament. That is the easy option I take. To grow I need to open my mind to all parts of the Bible. I pray to the Lord that he gives me the strength and grace to allow my limited human mind to appreciate the beauty and power that can be found in the scriptures.

Three

“He opened their minds to the scriptures.” In the passage about the two disciples on the road to Emmaus their “hearts burned within them” when Jesus opened up the scriptures to them too. I think about the ways in which God opens up the scriptures to me/to us all. God has spoken to me through the words of preachers, teachers, friends, Lectio reflections and personal Bible study – so many ways – and in those moments my eyes have been opened and I have gained a little more insight, encouragement, hope and joy.

How amazing it must have been to listen to the words of Jesus himself.

Four

‘He opened their minds to the Scriptures.’

This is Lectio Divina in a nutshell. Each week at Lectio we ask that our minds will be opened to what Jesus is saying to us and each week I am truly amazed at what I hear and learn through Jesus speaking to each and every one of us. This is why we must continue with our Divine Reading in as many ways as possible so that everyone can hear and meet Jesus wherever we are.

The Road to Emmaus is my favourite Gospel story. I wonder, when I set out on my ‘journey’ each day how many times I meet Jesus on that journey and don’t recognise Him. Today I am going to ‘see’ Jesus in everyone I meet which won’t be many at the moment but I will see neighbours mowing their lawns, workmen building walls, the postman, various delivery drivers, people walking past with their dogs etc. I will make a special effort to be aware of Jesus’ presence in each and every one of them.

You and your families and friends are in my prayers daily.
God bless you all on this beautiful spring day.

Five

I love the way that Jesus always provides everything we need. The disciples were the first to be given the great commission of teaching that Jesus died and rose again to take away ours sin and give us freedom. He came to them to show them that he was indeed alive, risen, he was no ghost, they could touch him and he could even eat!

He did all this to prove it to them. He went on and did more that evening , he opened their minds, illuminating the scriptures to them so they would have understanding. He also promised the coming of the Holy Spirit to them. God does not mess about, he equips. He equipped the disciples and he equips us to everyday deliver his message of forgiveness, freedom and love. When I am weak he is strong, it’s his strength that I lean on. Today Lord you have shown me how far you go to encourage, strengthen and equip your disciples, those then and those now.

He is with us.

God bless you all.

Six

Friends

“…how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread”

Sometimes it’s the little things that hit us. Of course Cleopas and his companion hadn’t recognised him on the road – they hadn’t looked, and their eyes were downcast – and anyway they knew he was dead.

Offering the usual hospitality, as it was getting late, it was something in the way he took, blest, broke and gave the bread that clicked and triggered reality for them. And then he was gone again.

No wonder they almost ran the 7 miles or so back to Jerusalem. Perhaps little danger of robbers as nobody in their right mind would be out in the dark!

And the stories tallied – he’d already appeared to Simon Peter, and then suddenly in person to all of them; “startled and terrified” sounds like an understatement!

I’m trying to imagine coming home from a funeral and then encountering the “dead” person, and I can’t do it.

Then he reminded them that he’d told them all of this in advance, when they couldn’t or wouldn’t believe.

And he opened their minds to understand the scripture – it had been there all the time, hidden in plain sight.

Jesus, open my mind to see and understand the scriptures, that I may see you as you are.
“…and when I see thee as thou art, I’ll praise thee as I ought” [How sweet the name of Jesus sounds: John Newton, who also wrote Amazing Grace]

Blessings

Seven

Greetings

Last week a member shared that she meditated on the words she wrote down from the lectio reading, and this week I felt led to try it and see what happened. The words seemed to tumble off the page like stepping stones forming a path that is taking me deeper into love.

Terrified troubled
He opened their minds
Repentance and forgiveness
To all nations
Witness
Peace

As I meditate on these words I see a meandering path, each step appearing when I was ready to let go and step out in faith. I see other paths criss crossing mine and I know we are not on separte journeys, each of my actions affects someone else. We are all connected by this mysterious force called love. I see some paths moving towards the light and others veering off into the darkness. It all seems like a tangled ball of wool, but there is God in the midst of the chaos making sense of it all. He knows every traveller by name, He knows where we are going, and wherever we are on our journey He is there drawing us to Himself. We can relax, we don’t have to figure out the next step, we can trust him to show us the way.

Take my hands precious Lord, lead me home

Tommy Dorsey

Eight

In relation to 3 Easter B Lectio what appeals to me the most is that the two disciples were walking with Jesus and they were not able to recognize him as they thought that he was a stranger or someone they just met on the road. Then they recognized him when Jesus shared the bread with them.

There are two things that us may think of. The first one is that Jesus is with us and we do not see him. The second is that Jesus is present in the Eucharist.

Nine

Dear friends,
Another Gospel full of joy, full of love. One more time I was called to meditate about the results of the presence of Jesus among the disciples, His actions and the interaction with them, all of which brought me to a few simple though powerful messages and questions about my relation with Jesus:

  • Recognising Jesus. How many times have I ignored, or not being able to see Jesus in the people around me, in those I have encounter in my path?
    So many times I thought all is about finding God in my way, but, as with the Emmaus disciples, it is about me being found by God. And about me realising that God reveals himself in the quotidian events of the day, in the Scriptures, in the sharing myself with others.
  • Feeling Jesus. Jesus asked his disciples to touch him, showing his risen hands and feet. He calls me as well to feel Him. Touching Jesus body, His Body, is the Church, it is me, it is all of us, it is helping each other, it is walking and working together for the Kingdom of God.
  • Staying with Jesus. It is a conscious act of choosing to be with you, Lord; although not always I have chosen you, forgive me Lord. Nevertheless I know You never abandon me, always walking with me.
  • Understanding what Jesus want us to learn. I need your grace Lord to open my heart and my mind, to not only understand, but to fulfil the mission you have for me.
  • Being a Witness to Jesus. Easier said than done, for I am weak. Send me your Holy Spirit Lord, for I can too be the witness you want be to be, for I can too be an instrument of your Peace.

Blessed be the Risen Lord whose love and mercy accompanies all of us, in every circumstance of our lives, even when we can not recognise Him, in every person we encounter day after day.

I want to meditate on this beautiful prayer of St Richard of Chichester; Three Things I Pray.

O Dear Lord,
Three things I pray
to know thee more clearly,
to love thee more dearly,
to follow thee more nearly,
day by day.